The Shakman Decrees

In 1969, a federal civil lawsuit entitled Michael L. Shakman, et al. vs. Democratic Organization of Cook County, et al., case number 69 C 2145 (the “Shakman Case”), was filed by a group of plaintiffs against various defendants including the Cook County Recorder of Deeds (the “Recorder”).  In 1992, the Recorder entered into a Consent Decree with the plaintiffs to resolve some of the claims made in the lawsuit.  The Recorder’s Consent Decree specifically prohibited the Recorder from “conditioning, basing, or knowingly prejudicing, or affecting any term or aspect of governmental employment including, without limitation, hiring, promotion, demotion, transfer and discharge (other than for Exempt Positions) upon or because of any political reason or factor.”

The Recorder Compliance Administrator’s Appointment

On September 14, 2010, Magistrate Judge Sidney Schenkier, with the agreement of the Recorder and the Plaintiffs, entered a Supplemental Relief Order (“SRO”) in the Shakman Case.  The SRO is intended to ensure that the Recorder complies with hiring and employment practices as they relate to political consideration and to adjudicate claims of political discrimination.  Pursuant to the SRO, Judge Schenkier appointed Cardelle Spangler as the Recorder Compliance Administrator (“RCA”) for the Cook County Recorder of Deeds.  The RCA’s duties include studying existing employment practices, policies and procedures for hiring, promotion, transfer, discipline and discharge, observing actual hiring sequences, assisting in formulating a new hiring plan, aiding in establishing a new training program to educate and train supervisors and employees on non-political hiring practices, making recommendations to the Court concerning resolutions to issues regarding Shakman Exempt positions, monitoring compliance, adjudicating Pre-SRO violations, assisting with settlement and administration of Post-SRO complaints and filing periodic reports.

There are a number of components to the SRO and the RCA’s duties.  Some are in the process of being addressed, and some will be addressed in due course.  If you have a question or a comment, you may contact us at or (312) 603-8821.


The RCA had the duty to adjudicate claims timely filed with her office by an “[a]ny past or present employee or applicant for employment with the Recorder…who allege[d]s that she or he suffered injury as a result of unlawful political discrimination in connection with any aspect of employment with the Recorder” from May 2005 until, and including, September 13, 2010.  SRO at Art. IV.  The RCA received a total of 68 timely filed Pre-SRO claim forms articulating 258 separate claims against the Recorder.  The RCA found that Recorder Moore, the Chief Deputy Recorder and/or other senior staff under the Moore administration, discriminated against 26 claimants on the basis of unlawful political reasons and factors.  The RCA awarded those claimants a combined total of $738,562.46.

You may have a claim as an aggrieved individual if political considerations affected your job or you were denied employment because of political considerations.  If that is the case, visit Post-SRO Claim Process page for more information and to obtain and print a copy of the POST-SRO Compliant Form.

The Recorder Compliance Administrator’s Website

Our website addresses issues related to our work with the Cook County Recorder of Deeds only.  If you are looking for information on other Shakman related Compliance Administrators at other units of local government, visit (Cook County Offices under the President, Cook County Health and Hospitals System, Cook County Public Defender, Cook County Office of the Independent Inspector General) and (Cook County Assessor).

Copyright 2010 Shakman Compliance Administrator for the Cook County Recorder of Deeds

Disclaimer:  The content of this website should not be construed as legal advice.

The Recorder Compliance Administrator is not able to provide legal advice about whether an individual should remain a member of the class or about whether an individual has a claim.  Any individual considering submitting a claim may consult with a lawyer of his or her choice at his or her own expense.